Lighting for Recessed Wall Box

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  #1  
Old 09-21-10, 06:51 AM
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Lighting for Recessed Wall Box

I am currently remodeling my basement and have an electrical / lighting question. During the framing process, I will be adding 'coves' or recessed wall display boxes for displaying purposes. The design will be similar to the attached picture.



The wall is an outside wall and will have insulation. What kind of recessed light can I use at the top of the display? I would like to use a 3" light. Should I use a standard recessed light can or is there an LED version? Should I worry about heat build up? Also notice there is a plexiglass cover over the display.

Thank you!
 
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Old 09-21-10, 08:03 AM
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Most likely these are low voltage lights. Have you looked into those?
 
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Old 09-21-10, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by James^C View Post
Should I use a standard recessed light can or is there an LED version? Should I worry about heat build up?
I would look for a low voltage LED version. A 3" halogen puts out a lot of heat. The downside with low voltage is that you need to have an accessible place to locate the transfomer, but you can probably make it work with an access panel somewhere near the alcoves.
 
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Old 09-21-10, 09:01 AM
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Thanks for all of the feedback! Are the low voltage lights dimable? It's not a requirement, but would be a nice feature. Also, I'll have 3-4 of these coves along the wall. Can I tie them all into 1 transformer?
 
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Old 09-21-10, 11:07 AM
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Old 09-21-10, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by James^C View Post
Are the low voltage lights dimable?
Many are, but usually not with standard dimmers. LV lights usually have to be bought as a system with compatible components. Most of the manufacturers do offer dimmers for the LV systems.

Can I tie them all into 1 transformer?
3-4 should not be a problem on one transformer.
 
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Old 11-15-10, 08:39 PM
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I found some xenon lv puck lights...but now I am finding out that running low voltage wires behind the walls is not allowed. Any suggestions??
 
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Old 11-15-10, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by James^C View Post
I found some xenon lv puck lights...but now I am finding out that running low voltage wires behind the walls is not allowed. Any suggestions??
Actually there is less regulation for low voltage then medium voltage. This is more based on the wire type. Some LV wire does not have an adequate fire rating. I can't imagine there is any restriction against NM-b. I could be wrong. Where did you get this info. Can you give more detail.
 
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Old 11-16-10, 06:01 AM
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A Chapter 3 method like NM-B cable off the low voltage side of the transformer could be used instead of the LV cable that cannot be run in the wall.

Watch out for UV emitted by the bulbs fading the showcased articles. Fiber optic would not have the heat issue, but an not sure where to get it. Perhaps a call to a art gallery or museum could direct you to a source.
 
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Old 11-16-10, 08:31 AM
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Thank you for the replies! I was planning on using a 14/1 solid THHN wire from the lv end of the transformer behind the drywall to the lights. I don't believe this is code. If I use a 14/2 NM-B wire from the transformer behind the walls, how do I connect to the lights? Will I need an exposed junction box?

Also, if I switch to LED, would I need to worry about UV damaging the articles?
 
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Old 11-16-10, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by James^C View Post
Also, if I switch to LED, would I need to worry about UV damaging the articles?
No, LED lamps produce a very narrow notch of visible light. This might actually work against you for the showpieces though because the narrow frequency band produced by the LED means they usually have a pretty poor color rendering index (CRI). This can make colors look unnatural. It would probably be okay with a hockey jersey like in the OP, but if you're displaying artwork or something like that the LED could make it look funky.

Is it required that the light be in the cabinet with the item? Would a ceiling mounted track spot pointing down at the piece be okay like they have in art galleries? You would then have the ability to use line voltage xenon/halogen lamps which produce a very nice light quality.
 
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